Throughout the years, many studies have been performed in order to assist Western Michigan University's Natural Areas and Preserves Unit in its job of "promot[ing] ecosystem integrity and natural aesthetics". These studies have been used by the management council and have served as guides when creating policies for the management of Asylum Lake. Here are a few examples of these ecological studies:
This study, which took place in 2001, studied historical uses and land cover, created an inventory of natural features and provided recommendations for habitat enhancements.
Keiser and Associates evaluated the water quality of Asylum Lake and Little Asylum Lake from 2006 to 2008. The purpose of the water quality assessment was to develop a better understanding of current lake conditions, identify factors influencing water quality and recommend strategies for long-term management and improvement.
This study was performed, not to duplicate past efforts, but to build on prior work and provide a cohesive vision for the management of the preserve's natural features.
The study was divided into three focal areas:
- A qualitative assessment of the natural features in the terrestrial habitats at the preserve, including the compilation of historical records.
- The establishment of long term vegetation monitoring plots and transects and initial data collection.
- A geographic information systems-based assessment of invasive plant species at the preserve.
Objectives of this rapid assessment were to help establish a baseline of herpetofauna richness and spatial distribution within the preserve and to guide recommendations for habitat restoration and long-term management opportunities.